Plan to base car insurance costs on Facebook posts hits the rocks

Facebook blocks plans by insurer Admiral to analyse Facebook posts to help lower premiums

Choosing the right insurance for your van

Plans to analyse social media posts on Facebook to help set car insurance premiums by insurer Admiral Insurance have been blocked by the social media site. 

This week, Admiral was going to launch a new service called Firstcarquote which would allow the insurer to analyse the Facebook accounts of first-time car owners and identify personality traits that are linked to safe driving. The scheme, which was said to be voluntary to sign up for, would have offered discounts to drivers deemed responsible by Admiral's in-house algorithm. 

But Facebook has since blocked the efforts to launch the service on the basis that it violates the privacy of its users. It said: "Protecting the privacy of the people on Facebook is of utmost importance to us. We have clear guidelines that prevent information being obtained from Facebook from being used to make decisions about eligibility." 

• Cheapest cars to insure 2016

According to Admiral, users signed up to Firstcarquote would have their posts, not photos, analysed on Facebook by the insurer and responsible traits like using calendar apps to set specific times and places to meet friends and family would be rewarded with lower premiums. Admiral estimated first-time car owners, who pay on average £2,106 for car insurance, could save up to 15 per cent on their premiums via Firstcarquote. 

However, Facebook said it will allow people to use their accounts to log into the Admiral app for verification purposes, but not allow people to view posts for discounts: "Our understanding is that Admiral will then ask users who sign up to answer questions which will be used to access their eligibility." 

Dan Mines, head of Firstcarquote, insisted that the new scheme is not an invasion of personal data: “It is incredibly transparent. If you don’t want to use it in a quote then you don’t have to.”

Average car insurance premiums to pass £700 this year

Mines added: “People share their social data with third parties every day, without any financial benefit to themselves. Firstcarquote asks users to share their data only once and offers them a clear, tangible financial benefit in return.”

“I think the future is unknown. We don’t know if people are prepared to share their data. If we find people aren’t sharing their data, then we won’t ever get to consider that [expanding Firstquote].” 

Would you let your insurer to analyse your Facebook profile for a potentially lower premium? Tell us in the comments below...

Recommended

Pay-per-mile road pricing no longer politically toxic, study suggests
Motorway
News

Pay-per-mile road pricing no longer politically toxic, study suggests

The Social Market Foundation says fuel duty unfairness opens the door for road pricing schemes
15 Oct 2021
Transport secretary Grant Shapps confirms digital driving licences are on the way
Digital driving licence
Consumer news

Transport secretary Grant Shapps confirms digital driving licences are on the way

DVLA plans to offer a digital provisional driving licence by 2024, with full digital licences to follow at a later date
17 Sep 2021
Electric car charge points to be installed in every new home in the UK
Home charging point
News

Electric car charge points to be installed in every new home in the UK

England will be the first country in the world to introduce mandatory electric car charging points for new-build homes
10 Sep 2021
Government asks for more Smart Motorway safety data with revised Highway Code on the way
smart motorway
News

Government asks for more Smart Motorway safety data with revised Highway Code on the way

A revised version of the Highway Code will cover Smart Motorway driving, as National Highways pledges to improve data and monitoring
8 Sep 2021

Most Popular

New 2022 Range Rover leaks: first look at new Land Rover flagship SUV
Range Rover leak - front
Land Rover Range Rover

New 2022 Range Rover leaks: first look at new Land Rover flagship SUV

Images of what could be the next Range Rover have appeared on social media ahead of next week’s reveal
21 Oct 2021
New Michelin Uptis airless tyre blows in ahead of 2024 launch
Michelin Uptis
News

New Michelin Uptis airless tyre blows in ahead of 2024 launch

The new airless Michelin Uptis is made from rubber and fibreglass and promises to be longer lasting, fuel-saving and recyclable
20 Oct 2021
New Kia EV6 2021 review
Kia EV6 front tracking
Kia EV6

New Kia EV6 2021 review

With a sporty drive, 300-plus miles of range and plenty of tech - could the new Kia EV6 be one of the best electric cars on sale?
19 Oct 2021